Discovering that you have bed bugs is every homeowner’s worst nightmare and can be an extremely distressing problem to deal with.

According to one survey, at least one in five Americans has dealt with a bed bug infestation in the past or knows someone who has.

While some may think of bed bugs as a sign of a dirty home, they tend to enter homes on used furniture and clothing, often due to traveling or shopping secondhand. And since bed bugs spread quickly, identifying and treating bed bugs with bed bug remedies is imperative should you ever encounter these pests in your home or while traveling.

Why Are Bed Bugs in My Home?

Bed bugs can enter your home in many ways, most commonly by latching onto used furniture.

If you’re someone who thrifts and shops for antiques regularly, you may want to take extra precautions when inspecting furniture or clothing before bringing new items into your home.

Bed bugs can also enter residences by clinging to your suitcase when staying in a hotel, so be sure to look at guest reviews before booking a hotel room and check for any signs of bed bugs when you arrive.

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

While bed bugs are not inherently dangerous to humans, they can cause an allergic reaction in some people if bitten. Therefore, bed bugs are considered a household nuisance and should be dealt with promptly by an experienced pest control expert.

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a reddish brown color and are typically small and wingless, about the size of an apple seed. Immature bed bugs are smaller than adults and have a more translucent color, often making them more difficult to spot.

Bed bugs should not be confused with lice, fruit flies, or any other common bugs found in the home, so understanding what they look like is imperative to recognizing and treating a possible infestation.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Bloodstains on Sheets

Small reddish-brown stains on your sheets can be a sign of bed bugs, as this could be blood from bugs that have been crushed. These stains may also appear on your mattress, couch, or armchairs.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites look like small, swollen red spots that often appear in a zigzag pattern on the skin. Bed bug bites are typically itchy and sometimes have a darker spot in the middle of the bite.

Bed Bug Shells

Otherwise known as bedbug molt, bed bug shells are a common sign of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs typically molt after a week of infesting your home, and the molt looks translucent in appearance.

Musty Odor

Bed bugs often emit a musty, sweet odor in larger infestations, so if you smell this kind of scent in your home, reach out to a pest control expert immediately.

Live Bed Bugs

Seeing live bed bugs on your furniture or garments is a telltale sign that there is a bed bug presence in your home.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Wash Your Bedding

If you suspect a bed bug infestation, you should promptly wash all of your bedding at a high temperature for 90 minutes or more. It may also be helpful to wash any garments that may have been exposed, as bed bugs can cling to these items as well.

Vacuum Your Home

After washing your bedding and garments, you should vacuum your floors to catch any bed bugs that may be infesting your carpets. Keep in mind, however, that bed bugs can escape vacuum cleaners, so be sure to empty your vacuum immediately after cleaning and dispose of the garbage bag outside of your home.

Contact a Professional

If you discover bed bugs in your home, you should contact a pest control expert right away to treat the infestation. Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to take on alone, and the problem could worsen the longer you wait to get help.

Prep Your Home For Treatment

Before your home is treated for bed bugs, you will need to prepare your home and get rid of any unnecessary clutter.

Cleaning up the house and tossing anything you don’t need will give the bed bugs fewer places to hide, so be sure to make your home as neat and clutter-free as possible to prepare for treatment.

Additionally, you should avoid going into rooms where there is a bed bug presence and close the door to prevent your children or pets from entering an infested area as well.

How to Treat a Bed Bug Bite

If a bed bug bites you, wash the bites with soap and water to prevent infection and reduce any itchiness you may experience. You can also apply a corticosteroid cream to the affected area to relieve itching. These creams can be purchased at the drugstore or prescribed by a doctor.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Wash Your Furniture

Regularly washing and vacuuming your furniture is a great way to prevent bed bugs from entering or returning to your home. This is especially true for things like mattresses, couches, and armchairs, as bed bugs often cling to these pieces of furniture.

Clean Up Clutter

The fewer places bed bugs have to hide, the better, so be sure to clean up any clutter that may be taking up space around your home.

Inspect Secondhand Items

Before taking home any items from the thrift store, be sure to thoroughly inspect them for any signs of bed bugs. For example, you should avoid purchasing used mattresses and box springs, as bed bugs commonly infest these items. If you decide to purchase used clothing or household appliances, make sure to wash them before using them in your home.

Seal Cracks

Sealing any cracks and crevices in your home is a great way to prevent bed bugs from entering. Silicone caulk can be purchased from any home improvement store and can be used to seal any possible bed bug entryways around your house.

Invest in Pest Control Maintenance

Investing in preventative pest control is a solid way to prevent bed bugs from entering or returning to your home. If you can afford it, reach out to a pest control company and ask about setting up a maintenance plan to give you and your family peace of mind that you won’t see any bed bugs around your home.


Can you see bed bugs with the naked eye?

While bed bugs are tiny, they are typically visible to the naked eye. If you see small, reddish-brown bugs with flat, oval-shaped bodies on any of your furniture, contact a pest control expert to assess and treat the problem.

Where do bed bugs hide on your body?

Bed bugs do not typically hide on people’s bodies, but they can hide in your clothing or in the soles of your shoes. If you notice any itchy bug bites in the shape of a zigzag pattern, contact a pest control expert immediately.

How do you check for bed bugs?

Keep an eye out for small reddish-brown stains on your mattress or bedding, as this could be blood from crushed bed bugs. You may also see live bed bugs, although this is rare, as they can be difficult to see if you’re not looking for them.